TNA Impact Review – June 20, 2024

TNA Impact June 20

TNA started the build to Slammiversary with a Josh Alexander-Eric Young main event while Frankie Kazarian met Ace Steel in a Street Fight.

It’s been a big week for TNA. Last Friday night they held Against All Odds, which was TNA’s second-best show of the year from my ratings. At the end of that show, Jeff Hardy returned to save his brother, Matt, from a beatdown from The System. Then on Tuesday night, Joe Hendry and Frankie Kazarian showed up on WWE NXT. Hendry cut a promo and got a great reception from the fans, before being swiftly dumped out of the NXT Championship #1 Contender’s Battle Royal. Two clips of Hendry, his entrance and a backstage confrontation with Shawn Michaels, have been viewed almost 11 million times on WWE’s X account. Staggering. I’m happy for Hendry because he looked genuinely happy at the reaction he got from the fans, plus he seems like a really likeable guy who works really hard to get himself over. It will be interesting to see how he is booked going forward. I think they have to give him a big title match, probably not at Slammiversary but maybe Bound for Glory.

I won’t be writing introductory bits like this each week as my column is already long enough, but I felt there were several big talking points so it’s nice to see a bit of TNA buzz online.

TNA Impact: 20.6.24 from Cicero Stadium, Chicago

There was a highlights package from Against All Odds. It was a really fun show with solid wrestling all night. Moose was able to retain the TNA World Championship in an entertaining no-disqualification match, NXT’s Tatum Paxley (unsuccessfully) answered Jordynne Grace’s open challenge and Mustafa Ali put away Trent Seven to retain his X-Division Championship. Oh and Jeff Hardy is back!

The System Speak

The champs are in the house and made their way down to the ring for a promo, flanked by Dirty Dango who helped Moose retain his title against Broken Matt Hardy. The boos rang out as Alisha Edwards took a microphone. I would rather listen to a whole broadcast of boos than her shocking voice delivering a 10-second promo. She was getting the Dominick Mysterio treatment and the fans weren’t allowing her to talk. Alisha reminded the fans how dominant The System was. Her husband noticed how rattled they were getting and took the mic. The fans told him that he sucked. Edwards said that The System was the one and only super team in professional wrestling. He said that they walked into Against All Odds as champions and left in exactly the same way. Brian Myers was next up. Myers said they would keep beating up their heroes until the fans acknowledge them. He praised Dirty Dango but called him Johnny Dango Curtis. That does not roll off the tongue. He shooshed the fans. Dango complained about being overlooked and unappreciated for the last 3 months that he sat at home. He questioned if he could still wrestle. Dango called himself one of the best in the world and told the fans that he can still go. He said he has been friends with the Edwards for 21 years. Dango called Myers his brother. He then addressed Moose. Dango said he trusts in The System and that Moose can trust him. Moose said that they appreciate Dango but he’s not part of their faction yet. He said that he was unbeatable and that he hasn’t lost a singles match in almost 2 years. Moose said that there’s no one in TNA that can beat him and that it’s so dire that they’ve brought in outsiders (Matt Hardy) to try and beat him. He here comes the Director of Authority, Santino Marella. I still laugh that Marella wears a badge. He put Moose’s title run over. Marella said he hated the way Moose gets things done. He put the TNA roster over as stacked and that there’s plenty of top talent to face Moose. Marella announced the Road to Slammiversary. He said that over the next few weeks, there would be five singles matches and the winner gets added to a 6-way elimination match for Moose’s title. Marella told Dango that he saw what happened at Against All Odds and he has a match with Ryan Nemeth tonight. He announced tonight’s main event: Josh Alexander vs Eric Young in the first of the Road to Slammiversary matches.

Analysis: That was long but very newsworthy. The fans were all over The System for this entire promo. They have really good heat. I liked Dango’s new serious heel persona. Marella is always fun on the mic. I love the idea of a 6-way match. I feel that TNA doesn’t have enough multi-man championship matches. It’s a good way to stack the odds against the heel champion and build him up even further when he comes out victorious. I don’t see Moose losing the title until he drops it to Hendry down the line. A very good opening to the show.

They showed highlights of ABC beating Young and Alexander at Against All Odds. ABC cut a taped promo. They put over the show, the return of Jeff Hardy, and their win. Chris Bey said it was time to invoke their TNA World Tag Team Championship rematch.

Analysis: They said it was time for a big match next week so I assume they’re challenging Myers and Edwards next week. That should be great.

Match #1: Spitfire vs The Hex

2/3 of the Knockout’s Tag division face off here. Threat started off on fire with a T-Bone suplex on Martie Belle. Allysin Kay tagged in but met a boot to the face. Threat tagged Luna and hit a diving clothesline. Threat hit an illegal crossbody and Luna covered for 2. She tagged Threat back in and they hit a double suplex on Kay for 2 again. Belle hit a cheap shot on Threat and Kay hit a big boot for 1. There was lots of yelling from the ring apron. Kay bounced Threat’s head off the turnbuckle. She tagged Belle in who hit a running hip attack for 2. Belle tossed Threat into the middle turnbuckle and tagged Kay back in. She hit a running neckbreaker and Belle nailed a knee to the face then slid out of the ring. There were a lot of double team moves in this match early. Kay covered but Threat kicked out again. Belle tagged in and took down Luna with a cheap shot. She nailed a running elbow on Luna for another 2 count. Belle tried a sleeper but Threat was determined to get out of it. She dived to her corner for the tag but Kay took Luna off the apron. Belle held Threat by the ankle but she rolled through and eventually made the tag. Luna took down Marti with clotheslines and hit a running dive through the ropes to Kay on the outside. She hit a spinning kick on Belle but Kay broke up the pin. She copped a forearm but then hit a Saito suplex so Belle covered for 2. Luna hit a big forearm to Belle and tagged in Threat. She nailed a senton to take out both members of the Hex. They nailed a sloppy reverse Death Valley Driver into a spinebuster double-team for the win after 7 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Spitfire

Analysis: **1/4 It was an okay tag team match but they seemed to just do one move and tag in/out for the first 4-5 minutes and then the action picked up again. That finish was not crisp.

There was a Digital Exclusive of the Hardy family consoling each other after Moose’s win on Friday. Matt accidentally speared his own family through the table and then Moose speared him through the table. He wasn’t speaking in his Broken voice. Matt was going ballistic. He said he was not alone anymore, with Jeff by his side. Matt said he was going to create chaos and take TNA over.

Analysis: That was very fiery from Matt. I’m not sure if he drops the Broken gimmick with Jeff back, but he wasn’t really acting in that creepy way here.

There were highlights from Sami Callihan’s win over Jonathan Gresham at Against All Odds. Kushida returned and took some ink from Gresham to test it in a lab.

Mic Check with Alan Angels and Kushida

Kushida said he was looking for a cure to why Gresham was making everyone sick. Angels questioned Kushida’s credentials. He accused him of trying to make money from Gresham’s ink. Kushida fired up and then Angels put his hands on him so Kushida challenged him to a match next week. Angels didn’t like the sound of that.

Analysis: Not much excitement here. That will be a win for Kushida who has been missed.

Match #2: Chicago Street Fight: Frankie Kazarian vs Ace Steel

Steel confronted Kaz backstage at Against All Odds and called him out for his cheating, which set this match up. Steel came to the ring with a trash can. He is 51 years of age. He took the fight to Kaz with chops in the corner and a snapmare. Steel nailed a kick to the back. He avoided a corner attack and clotheslined Kaz over the top rope. Steel tossed a trash can into Kaz’s head from inside the ring. He retrieved Kaz from outside and tossed him back into the ring. Steel suplexed Kaz onto the trash can. Kaz recovered and whipped Steel hard over the top rope. He threw a trash can at him. They brawled around the outside area.

(Commercial break)

Kaz smashed Steel’s arm into a chair as we came back to the action. He trapped Steel’s arm in the chair and tried a springboard leg drop but Steel moved. Steel picked up the chair and nailed Kaz with 2 shots to the back. He started bashing him with kendo stick shots. Steel set the chair up and tried to drop Kaz onto it but Kaz blocked it with his hands. Steel nailed Kaz with a bunch of forearms in the corner. He hit a running dropkick in the corner and a swinging neckbreaker on the chair for a 2 count. Kaz tried to sneak a Chicken Wing on Steel who sent him to the ring apron. He launched back in for the slingshot DDT for 2. Kaz started choking Steel out with a kendo stick but Steel gave him a low blow. He went for a steel chair shot but Kaz launched him into the turnbuckle so that his head bounced off the chair. Kaz set up some chairs in the middle of the ring and hit the world’s safest Fade to Black for the win after 7 minutes of TV time.

Winner by pinfall: Frankie Kazarian

Analysis: *** That was entertaining and Steel looked more than capable for someone in his 50s. Kaz is in the Road to Slammiversary qualifying matches and a full-time wrestler so obviously, he was winning the match.

Kaz started choking Steel out immediately after the match. Joe Hendry’s music hit and he ran down and hit a huge Standing Ovation on Kaz. The crowd was going nuts. Hendry helped Steel up as the crowd sang Hendry’s theme.

There was a pre-taped backstage segment with Mustafa Ali and Campaign Singh. Ali was complaining about the leaked video of Ali trashing the Chicago crowd. He wanted Singh to hunt down someone to find out who made the leak. Singh started to advise Ali that he should talk to the fans but Ali cut him off and pulled it off as his idea.

Analysis: Ali addresses the fans next week. Anytime he’s on it is good viewing.

There were lots of talent backstage cheering on PCO ahead of his date with Steph De Lander. They were all happy then horrified as he started chasing them off.

SDL’s date with PCO

There was a dinner table set up in the middle of the ring with candles and dinner. It looked lop-sided. Matt Rehwoldt was complaining that SDL had theme music for a date. PCO came out next and SDL opened the ropes for him. She pulled the chair out for him so he was going to return the favour and then went to hit her in the back with the steel chair. SDL stopped him as PCO was out of practice. Some romantic music was played and PCO lit some candles. This feels really odd reviewing this. SDL said it was nice to be on a date with a normal guy. PCO grunted in appreciation. PCO made some non-PG actions. SDL cleaned it up. He brought out a bottle of black liquid from under the table and drank it. SDL had a try too but was repulsed and asked for some wine. PCO poured but it went everywhere. It was time to eat. PCO unveiled what looked like black spaghetti and he called it the Stephanie Special. She took a photo for social media. PCO picked up a handful and chowed down. He tried to give some to SDL and she gave him a lesson in using a fork. First Class’ music hit and they’re here to ruin the fun. AJ Francis called it love at first fright. AJ was still fuming from the beatdown PCO gave them on Friday. He gave them a toast and tried the wine then threw it on PCO. Swann nailed PCO with a kick. AJ threw SDL to the ground and then nailed PCO with the Death Valley Driver. Swann zip-tied PCO to the middle rope. SDL slapped AJ and then he choke-slammed her through the table! PCO was screaming about it in the corner as First Class celebrated.

Analysis: Sometimes wrestling is just fun and you can’t think too much about it. This was silly and a woman went through a table during a dinner date. All you can do is laugh.

Match #3: Ash by Elegance vs Heather Reckless

George Iceman came out and trashed Reckless before the match. He did his usual hype shtick for Ash. Ash hit a clothesline early and tossed Reckless to the ring apron. Reckless fought her way back into the ring. She countered a side headlock and took Ash to the mat. Ash choked her out with a head scissors but Reckless kipped up. Ash smashed her with a forearm. She celebrated for far too long and got a 1 count. Ash pummelled Reckless with forearms on the mat. She countered a cutter attempt and Reckless hit an uppercut in the corner. Ash went to the top but was cut off with a pal strike. Reckless was going for the Spanish Fly from the top but Iceman held her leg and she fell to the mat. Ash hit Rarefied Air for the win after 2 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ash by Elegance

Analysis: SQUASH Another easy win for Ash. She has really only beaten Xia Brookside in terms of established TNA talent and it looks like she will be challenging Grace next.

Post-match Ash set up for the Juggernaut Driver but here comes Jordynne Grace. Grace hit Ash with a clothesline and a scoop slam. Iceman was cowering in the corner and attacked Grace from behind as she set up for the Driver. Grace threw Ash to the mat and turned to Iceman who tried to buy her off with his watch. She grabbed him by the throat but Ash attacked from behind. Ash nailed Grace with the championship to the face and stood over Grace with it.

Analysis: That’s the kind of dominant booking that Ash needs. It’s going to need a few big wins to convince me that she deserves a title shot though.

Jordynne Grace cut a quick promo backstage. Grace said Ash ruined a moment at NXT Battleground that she will never get back. She said that she is going to Santino Marella to fix the Ash problem.

Analysis: There’s the setup for Slammiversary it seems.

Match #4: Johnny Dango Curtis (JDC) vs Ryan Nemeth

Dango is going by JDC. Nemeth was on fire early with chops in the corner. He bounced JDC’s head off the top turnbuckle and hit a spear in the corner. Nemeth went for a neckbreaker but JDC raked his eyes and hit a backbreaker for 2. JDC hit some chops in the corner. He stretched out the back of Nemeth on the mat. He nailed a running upper cut in opposite corners but missed a 3rd one. Nemeth came back with a jumping DDT and nailed a neckbreaker. JDC rolled to the floor to avoid the cover. Nemeth tossed him back in but JDC kicked the middle rope for a low blow when the referee was doing something on the other side of the ring for some reason. JDC hit the Air Raid Crash and a big legdrop from the top for the win after 3 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: JDC

Analysis: ** That was a short match but puts over the new heel persona of JDC. The Nemeth push isn’t in singles it seems.

Edwards and Myers walked to the ring clapping JDC. They beat down Ryan until Nic Nemeth came down to make the save. Nic took down JDC with right hands. Myers avoided a superkick and cowered away.

Analysis: It looks like the feud will continue. I expect The System to screw Nic out of his Slammiversary qualifying match.

The commentators ran down some of the monthly events of the neat future. There was a cool preview video for this next match with both men’s thoughts on regaining the TNA World Championship. You don’t see that very often for a weekly singles match.

Match #5: Road to Slammiversary Qualifier: Josh Alexander vs Eric Young

This is the first of 5 qualifying matches. These two have tagged together a few times over the last 6 months. They shook hands after the bell rang. No one got the advantage in the early going. Alexander got the first offensive move with a back elbow. Young returned fire with one of his own.

(Commercial break)

Young had Alexander in a submission as we returned to the action. Alexander got to his feet and levelled Young with some right hands. He sent Young flying with a back body drop and a rolling senton. Alexander went to the middle rope and connected with a diving knee to the back of the neck for a 2 count. He went to work with a German suplex but Young held the ropes to avoid a second. Young fought back with a DVD for a 2 count. He went to the top rope but avoided an incoming Alexander. Alexander still knocked him to the ring apron and nailed his running crossbody that sent Young to the outside. He tossed Young back into the ring and went for a moonsault but Young moved out of the way. Young then went up top but Alexander was quick to recover and they battled on the top rope. Young sent Alexander crashing to the mat with a series of right hands and nailed a top rope elbow drop for 2. Young tried to roll through for a pin attempt but Alexander grabbed his ankle and locked in the anklelock. Young turned it around and nailed a big neckbreaker in mid-air. Young nailed the piledriver but Alexander got his foot on the rope just before the 3 count. Good nearfall there. Young lifted Alexander to the top rope for a super piledriver! Alexander blocked it and tossed Young face-first to the mat. He locked in the anklelock but Young turned onto his front and used an inside cradle for a 2 count. Young hit a massive clothesline and went for a second but Alexander caught his arm and rocked him with a forearm. Alexander hit a big German suplex and pulled down his straps. He nailed the C4 Spike to head to Slammiversary. The match went for 12 minutes of TV time.

Winner by pinfall: Josh Alexander

Analysis: ***1/4 That was a decent main event that was affected by the early commercial break which ruined the momentum slightly. Alexander winning was the right call but Young looked good in defeat. I’m not sure what direction they have for him going forward.

Alexander and Young hugged it out as Impact went off the air for this week.

Final Rating: 6.25/10

This was not a night for showcasing TNA’s wrestling but there was lots of advancement for stories for Slammiversary which is pleasing with a month until the PLE. Setting up a 6-man match for Moose to defend in is wise as there are lots of potential challengers but none that stand out at present. There’s also the opportunity to combine different storylines in the one big match and allow some lesser lights on the big show because 6 big wrestlers are in the one match. I know this would’ve been taped before NXT aired, but it was wise to have Hendry and Kaz on for the casual viewer who might have tuned in after seeing them on Tuesday night. The only other decent match tonight was Kaz vs Ace Steel, which was an entertaining brawl. We got some build towards Ash vs. Jordynne Grace, PCO vs. AJ Francis and maybe a multi-team match for the Tag Team Titles all at Slammiversary. I think we can probably pencil Mike Bailey interrupting Mustafa Ali’s State of the Union next week to book an X-Division Championship match in his home country.

The next TNA PLE is Slammiversary from Montreal on July 20th. Here’s the card so far:

* TNA World Championship: 6-man elimination match: Moose (c) vs Josh Alexander and 4 others TBA

Any feedback or comments are welcome. My email address is in case anybody wants to get in touch with me and my Twitter/X handle is @thomok6 as well. Thanks for reading!